The Liberia National Police has denied having anything to do with the death of a suspect under its custody, George Padmore, who was released to family members on health condition and subsequently dropped death at the Redemption Hospital in the borough of New Kru Town, Bushrod Island.
Police spokesman or Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Sam Collins, told a news conference Tuesday, 5 January at the Liberia National Police Headquarters on Capitol Hill that aggrieved family members took the dead body of the late Padmore to the Zone 9 Depot in Jacob Town Community, Paynesville and left it there on suspicion that the victim may had been mal-handled in police cell prior to his death at the hospital.
The 45-year-old deceased was of the Kpelle tribe and resident of the Jacob Town community. Collins told reporters that police arrested the late Padmore for alleged “disorderly conduct and terroristic threat” after he attempted to waste acid water on his wife, Annie Padmore.
He said Padmore was arrested on 2 January 2016 and spent one night at the depot after which the deceased informed police authorities there he was not feeling well so the police turned him over to his mother, and was subsequently taken to a local health center, Lofa Community Clinic in Jacob Town.
“Information reaching us states that after they arrived at the hospital, doctors diagnosed him and informed that he needed further treatment at the J.F.K or the Redemption Hospital”, he added.
According to the DCP, information gathered by the police revealed that when the victim arrived at the Redemption Hospital, he was without money so he fell off and gave off the ghost.
This is the second incident in less than three months involving suspect still under police custody dying. In October 2015, the Liberia National Police reported that a 21-year-old female detainee, BenduSaysay, was found helpless in a police cell along the Banjor road in Virginia, outside Monrovia and died subsequently while she was being rushed to hospital.
According to the police, the late Bendu hung herself in the cell, and while being rushed to the Redemption Hospital in New Kru Town, she was pronounced dead. Police spokesman Sam Collins, said at the time the late BenduSaysay was found helpless inside the cell on Wednesday, October 21, where she was detained for alleged criminal mischief. But family members have disputed accounts provided by the police.
“Let me make this clear, our zones and cells are not intended to harass people. The Liberia National Police, which is headed by Director Chris Massaquoi will not sanction any kind violation within our cells; our people need to understand”, Collins assured.
By Lewis S. Teh-Edited by Jonathan Browne